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Summit County

Summit County leading state in newest COVID spike

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Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
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Summit County was the first county in Utah the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved to the medium risk category.

Last Thursday, Summit County was the first county in Utah to transition to the medium level of COVID risk. Now, Gov. Spencer Cox said the entire state — and nation — are experiencing a spike.

Wearing a mask, one week after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Gov. Spencer Cox on Thursday told reporters the state was experiencing another spike in COVID-19 numbers. But thankfully, this wave does not appear to be as deadly as others.

“We are certainly seeing a spike. I'm part of that spike. We've seen some other high profile file cases — the Speaker of the (Utah) House, Congressman Curtis — and so we are seeing a rise," Cox said. "The positive news is that this surge is not seeing a significant surge in hospitalizations anywhere across the country. And we're not seeing that here in Utah as well.”

Last Thursday, Summit County was the first county in Utah the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved into the medium category of its community level tracking.

The Summit County Health Department in a prepared statement attributed that rise to testing levels in the county, which it said were the highest in the state. The statement also says the department expected a rise in cases as seasonal travel and summertime activities increase.

Statewide, there's been more than a 30% increase each of the past two weeks in the average number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed each day. As of Thursday, the state reported a seven-day average of 645 daily cases. The number of new hospitalizations is now averaging 15 per day, up 15% compared to last week's average.

The Park City School District is also experiencing the surge. On Tuesday, the district’s Chief Operations Officer Mike Tanner said cases are rising, mostly among children who have not been vaccinated or who haven’t had COVID-19 before.

“Our schools are seeing an uptick in cases. We have 19 total in the district right now, seven which were new as of yesterday," Tanner said Tuesday. "And they're spread pretty evenly across the schools. But we also do have 15 suspect cases which we haven't confirmed through the normal channels. So the numbers are moving up.”

Tanner said health measures the district took amid the pandemic are still in place, including increased air purification. The district also directed school principals to take what Tanner called common-sense steps to reduce density among students in close spaces.

But he said, at this point, the surge has not changed the district’s plans for end-of-year activities.

“(We're) trying to keep everybody focused," Tanner said. "So we've got 12 school days left here, hopefully we can limp to the finish line and have the summer to regroup.”

The CDC recommends consulting with a healthcare provider to determine whether it’s necessary to wear a mask or take other precautions. National, state and local officials recommended getting tested if sick. Cox said some medications used to treat COVID-19 must be taken within five days of the first sign of symptoms, underlining the need to seek testing as early as possible.